Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Efan the Wizard

Shepherd has been begging for a pet.

It all started a couple of months back when his pre-K class did a unit on them. Now at certain times, I do consider homeschooling, for the sole reason that I could have control over the thoughts that are placed in my children's heads. You know, the important values, like, premarital sex, evolution as fact not theory, and the idea that kids need pets.

I was given fair mommy warning that he would need to bring in a photo of his cat or dog or, for those who belong to the Petfree Movement, whatever we improvised. We had grand plans and a whole weekend to go over to Shelly's house and take photos with their two new Havanese/Bichon babies, Buddy and Cole. Five days later, I remembered, as we were already late to school one morning, that CRAP! I had forgotten to take a picture for him! Bad mommy, bad mommy....I scrambled, searching desperately through everything in the 17 seconds available to find an appropriate photo. In a drawer I came across a note that Walker's grandmother had written to Ingram on his baptism. It had a photo of a, um, pet on it, yes it did. I grabbed it, suppressing the guilt over sacrificing a beautiful handwritten note from the matriarch of the family to her newest great grandchild for what might become cut and glued into a preschool art project. Well, sometimes a mom's gotta do what a mom's gotta do. Especially a flaky, pet averse mom like me!

"Here Shepherd!!" I handed it to him. "Here's your picture for pet day!"

He looked at it, questioningly. "A wam?"

"Yes! You will be the only kid with a lamb for a pet! How COOL is THAT?" I held my breath.

"Oooo! Neato! A wam! Danks, Mom!" Whew. He bought it. Sweet easy kid. I don't think that would have flown with Eva Rose.

Fortuntely, the photos were only shared at circle time and not cut and pasted so Lammy got in line with all the other memories patiently waiting their addition to the baby book. And Shep seemed to drop the issue. Until recently.

"I want a pet mom. I want a puppy dog. Not a wam. Wams are not pets, mom. Dogs are pets."

"You do?" You know, sometimes you can buy some time with a simple "You do?" Not this time.

"Yes. A dog. Or a cat. I need a pet mom. I need one. Now. Let's go get one."

"Well, I'm sorry babe. Pets are too much work and they poopoo in the back yard. Your momma has four babies. She doesn't need a dog too. Ingram's your pet. And Maggie. At least they wear diapers. And you can teach them tricks too! Maggie can fetch the remote control already!"

Well, of course, that didn't cut it with him. I have said many times though that I would have another baby before I ever got a dog. Babies are just as difficult and at least they get gradually more independent. Maybe when my children start to fly the nest, I will long for something to love and care for. But at this stage in the game, the last thing I need is another little creature chewing up my shoes and demanding food and baths and attention, contributing even more poop on my carpet and throw up on my rug than I have already. Ugh! Perish the thought.

Sunday, when he was supposed to be napping, I heard all kinds of racket coming from Shep's room. He appeared at the top of the stairs like this:

"Mom! I got a PET! It's a wizard!"

Sure enough, he had caught a lizard in his room, trapped between the two buckets. (The boy's got skills!)

He now has a pet. His name is Ethan. Or as Shep says, "Efan the Wizard".

Whatever makes you happy, baby.

Three days later, Ethan the lizard isn't looking so good. He is definitely suffering some serious side effects of Shaken Lizard Syndrome. And, ok, don't go and call the SPCL, I haven't fed him. What am I supposed to do? Go catch flies for him? Did I mention I have four babies?

But, for the time being, Shepherd has a pet to love and shake and sleep with. Literally. He is sleeping with him. Maybe soon I can convince him to let Ethan go on a big wizard adventure in the backyard. A backyard which Ethan will not proceed to poop all over.

PS - I need to state, for the record, that Shep has his 2nd worst haircut ever. My fault. Can't blame Daddy for this one. Praying it will grow out by Easter and that I will learn to hone my barber communication skills.


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